Energy conservation is a serious business. But learning how to conserve it can be fun and inspiring.
Committed to help promote efficient energy use to young students, the Shell Comprehensive School Programme (Shell CSP), through its advocacy project The New Energy Future, has devised creative ways to teach children how to address environmental concerns that are linked to the use of fossil fuels, understanding patterns of consumption and exploring alternative energies.
Using popular language that can be better understood by the children, the recent interactive mobile exhibit dubbed, “The Energy Down Below” was simultaneously mounted for six weeks in all the eight schools participating in the Shell CSP- The New Energy Future advocacy project. The advocacy is done in able partnership with the Department of Education and Marylindbert International.
The mobile educational exhibit made the rounds of participating schools like the J. Zamora Elementary School in Pandacan, Manila; P. Gomez Elementary School in Sta. Cruz, Manila; Makati Elementary School in Makati City and Timoteo Paz Elementary School in Pasay City in the National Capital Region.
In the Calabarzon area, participating schools included the Batangas City East Central Elementary School in Batangas City; Tabangao Elementary School in Batangas City; Claro M. Recto Memorial School in Lipa City and Padre Valerio Malabanan Memorial School in Lipa City.
The interactive and educational exhibit came in two parts. The first was a 10-minute video of “The Malampaya Journey”, which explains how the multibillion-dollar Malampaya natural gas project came to be and how Filipinos are benefitting from it. The other part is a simulation game, explaining how petroleum and natural gases are formed. The Malampaya natural gas field off Palawan is being operated by a consortium that includes Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX), the Department of
Energy, Chevron Malampaya LLC and the Philippine National Oil Company- Exploration Corporation—and is now contributing vital fuel to produce electricity.
“From the exhibit, I have learned to use less electricity so we can burn less fossil fuel and decrease the smoke destroying the ozone layer,” says Ron Martin Robles, a student of Timoteo Paez Elementary School in Pasay City.
Lorylaine Panog, a schoolmate of Robles added, “I think that the workers of the Malampaya gas project are very hardworking. I am very proud of them because they are smart. I promise that I will not waste gasoline. I will say to other people that they should not waste gasoline because it is hard to make.”
The students also learned from the exhibit the importance of the symbiotic relationship between man and nature.
All the principals of the participating schools were very happy with the exhibit of the Shell CSP- The New Energy Future. They said the exhibit brought countless joys and discoveries to their pupils who are interested in the field of science and technology.
The New Energy Future was anchored on Pilipinas Shell’s steadfast belief that to effect a significant change in the way Filipinos view large concepts such as energy, fossil fuels and the environment- which are also taken for granted- it should start with the youth.
According to Roberto Kanapi, Pilipinas Shell Vice President for Communications, The New Energy Future “aims to inculcate and reinforce student’s knowledge and skills on the importance of taking care of the environment, fossil fuels, value of energy and the need to conserve it and climate change and the ways to help minimise it.”
Under the New Energy Future programme, which was launched July last year, Grade 3 and Grade 4 students from the initial eight public schools will learn various ways of taking care of the environment. They will be taught the importance of fossil fuel; the value of energy and the need to conserve it; and the reality of climate change and how it can be addressed.
Shell, Kanapi said, is only too happy to be part of this advocacy to shape the minds of the youth in the proper care of the environment by teaching them how to conserve energy. It is hoped that by imparting such life lessons on the youth, they will be part of a new generation of Filipinos who are aware of the importance of energy and a new breed of students who can contribute in their own way to the responsible use of scarce energy,” Kanapi said.
He added that the programme has never been more timely considering that there is a very real possibility that the world will hardly have enough fossil fuels to meet the ever growing demand of factories, homes, industries and cars by a global population that continues to increase at a fast pace, especially in developing countries like the Philippines.
Kanapi said, “There is a compelling need for everyone to be aware how valuable energy is. The world population continues to grow but energy is non-renewable and is getting depleted. It’s time we use energy wisely and well.”
With the children learning to do just that through the New Energy Future programme, then a future that is sustainable and prosperous is becoming imminent to besafe in their hands. [Bum D. Tenorio, Jr.]
* As published in Philippine Star Business As Usual Section on April 11, 2011 (Page D-1)
Public grade school students learn about caring for the environment through Shell’s interactive exhibit called, “The Energy Down Below.”